Game Preview – Prairie View A&M
With a big showdown with Texas Tech looming in two weeks, Texas State would like to go into Lubbock on a high: two straight victories. "It's good to be coming home," Franchione said. "We hope we have a good crowd and the students get involved. Two years ago we had to fight really hard to win the game. Coach Northern has done a good job there and I have a lot of respect for what he's accomplished." Texas State defeated Prairie View A&M 34-26 in 2011. In that game, the Panthers rushed for 300 yards on 5.2 yards per carry. They scored on four straight possessions in the second and third quarters to stay alive. Texas State's defense got the only stop that mattered in the end with Prairie View A&M threatening. Offensive blocking and line play were big points of note from Franchione and the staff this week, along with kick coverage but this game will likely come down to how improved the Texas State defense has truly become. The Bobcats allowed just 23 rushing yards last week with Sun Belt Player of the Week David Mayo and linebacker Michael Odiari playing a big role in the effort. "(Prairie View A&M) is a great team, especially on screens," Odiari said. "We have to go out and just execute what we're doing out here. They're going to be tough to defend as a whole but if we do it as a unit, we can do it." Offensively, quarterbacks Tyler Arndt and Jordan Moore will both get reps after turnover-free outings in Mississippi. Arndt will hit the field for the first time since leading the Bobcats on the game-winning drive last week that ended with a 17-yard touchdown on an option keeper. "I think it's safe to say Tyler will start this week," Franchione said. "We'll play Jordan just like we did last week; I thought Jordan did some really good things. That was really good for Tyler and really good for our football team. I thought he really stood in there and did some things well. It's certainly one we all took note of." Keys to the Game: Stopping the speed The Panthers have an electric backfield that includes quarterback Jerry Lovelocke who faced Texas State in 2011, rushing for 103 yards on 14 carries. Texas State may not be able to afford to get into a shootout with the Prairie View A&M after the way the offense performed last week. It's crucial that the Bobcats defense puts the Panthers into difficult situations on second and third down early and often. GOAL: Limit the Panthers to less than 4.0 yards per carry More than Nutall Texas State's running game was a bit of a letdown last week. After hyping five different starting running backs all off-season, only Chris Nutall had any kind of strong day. The line needs to block better but names like Rob Lowe, C.J. Best and Tim Gay need to make a bigger impact, which will help the offense stay balanced. Anything is better than 81 yards on 40 carries last week. GOAL: 150 rushing yards Second half statement The Bobcats have had their second half struggles since joining the FBS, even last week in the eventual win. The Panthers outscored Texas Southern last week 17-0 in the second half. Texas State has to make a statement once and for all that those struggles are behind them with a big second half today. GOAL: Outscore Panthers in third quarter by 10
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